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Talk amongst yourselves, but en français

Proposed changes would make Quebec’s language laws even more draconian


 
Talk amongst yourselves, en Francais

Photograph by Roger Lemoyne

For nearly three years, Wes Bolduc has owned Bar Blue Dog, an ill-lit and purposefully grimy St. Laurent Boulevard staple in Montreal. He knows the linguistic lay of the land: though he estimates his clientele is roughly 75 per cent English, Blue Dog staff are bilingual. Bolduc, who can trace his own French lineage back to the 17th century, says he has never received a complaint—or a visit from the Office québécoise de la langue française, the government enforcer of Quebec’s language laws. “A rum and Coke in English is pretty much a rum and Coke in French,” the 30-year-old Bolduc says.

Maybe so. But if the Parti Québécois has its way, Quebec’s language laws will be extended to include Quebec’s roughly 196,000 small- and medium-sized businesses, meaning it won’t be enough to only speak French to customers. Under the PQ plan, outlined in the party’s 2008 electoral platform and currently part of the party’s plan should it form the next government, French would be the designated “langue de travail,” (working language), meaning all written and verbal communication, including among the staff, must be done in French.

In order to operate, each business would likely need a certificat de francisation attesting that it has “achieved a level of French so as to meet the objectives of the charter of the French language.” Currently, only businesses with 50 or more employees must abide by these rules. This means every dry cleaner, dépanneur (corner store) and coffee shop must operate in French—even if its owners aren’t.

For Bolduc, the proposed change to the law is essentially useless. He and his employees already address their customers in French, and he finds it odd that the government would want to mandate what language he uses with his staff. “We’re bilingual already,” he says. “I don’t hire people who can speak French because the government tells me to,” he says, “but because it’s good for my business.”

According to the PQ’s language critic, though, such an ad hoc French policy isn’t enough. In fact, Pierre Curzi says the “phenomenon of bilingualization of Montreal and the surrounding areas” is a grave concern to the PQ, the party responsible for Bill 101 in the first place. “Montreal is anglicizing,” Curzi, a PQ MNA, says. “We notice that within the city, the culture of the minority English population is much more attractive. Sooner or later, English will be more important for the majority of the population.”

Curzi isn’t immune to making rash statements. Last fall, he suggested the lack of French players on the Canadiens hockey team was a deliberate move on the part of federalists to starve Quebecers of a powerful “symbol of identity.” In this case, Curzi says he has statistics to back up his words: the number of francophones on the island of Montreal “has slid under the psychological threshold of 80 per cent,” he wrote in a report last year, citing a 2006 Statistics Canada study.

What’s more, he says, the roughly 47,000 allophone (neither French nor English) immigrants coming to Quebec every year are five times more likely to work in English than in French. The reason is, these immigrants are more likely to work in small- or medium-sized businesses in Montreal—most of which, Curzi says, are decidedly slack when it comes to speaking French.

For the PQ, fixing the problem isn’t only a matter of cracking down on small businesses; a PQ government would make French CEGEP (Quebec’s college system) mandatory for everyone save for Quebec-born anglophones. (A recent study by the CSQ union group showed a significant increase in English language CEGEP enrolment by both francophones and allophones, in part to better their job prospects.)

By extending Bill 101 to smaller businesses, the PQ is going against the very Péquiste who wrote the law. Its architect, PQ minister Camille Laurin, wrote in 1977: “There is no question of preventing [non-French-speaking] employees from working together in their own language, provided it is understood that they must serve their French customers in French.” In fact, PQ premier René Lévesque worried about OQLF coming down on business owners like Bolduc, as well as on Montreal’s ubiquitous dépanneurs, a huge number of which are owned by non-francophone immigrants.

Curzi says it is time to “update” the law, though he has yet to hash out how the PQ would enforce it­­—or how much it would cost. Policing Quebec’s smaller businesses, which make up 95 per cent of all businesses registered in the province, would be a significant bureaucratic feat. Already, Quebec “is at the head of the pack in Canada when it comes to regulations” and has the highest per-employee costs in the country, according to Canadian Federation of Independent Business president Martine Hébert. “It would be another reason to get out of the province,” says Kyle Kerr, co-owner of the Bofinger, a Montreal-based chain of BBQ restaurants.

“It could be a nightmare to enforce,” admits Curzi. His solution would be to concentrate OQLF efforts on Montreal’s estimated 48,000 smaller businesses, since most off-island businesses are mostly French-speaking already. “We’re not all crazy all the time, and we aren’t completely stupid,” he says.

Perhaps not. But many Montreal businesses say a return to the bad old days of language laws and “tongue troopers” is just what the province doesn’t need, given the importance of smaller business to the economy. “Why would they even care?” Bolduc says of the PQ initiative. “Even if they enforce it, it won’t change the fact that my bread and butter is English students from McGill.”


 

Talk amongst yourselves, but en français

  1. Pride Goeth Before the Fall.

    Things are going to get wackier than Prohibition if this ever comes to pass.

    Martin, are there any good satirists who send up this stuff? A la Bernier's controversy, is it too sacrosanct to lampoon? Or is too wacky to parody at all? (i.e. can't make this stuff up)

  2. Pride Goeth Before the Fall.

    Things are going to get wackier than Prohibition if this ever comes to pass.

    Martin, are there any good satirists who send up this stuff? A la Bernier's controversy, is it too sacrosanct to lampoon? Or is too wacky to parody at all? (i.e. can't make this stuff up)

  3. Curzi should be told that Orwell's 1984 was not meant as a "how to" manual; apparently, something got lost in the translation.

  4. Curzi should be told that Orwell's 1984 was not meant as a "how to" manual; apparently, something got lost in the translation.

  5. Well Curzi's timing couldn't be better – this should be a big boost for Larry Smith with the West Island.

    What an idiot – the diverse ethnic population is what makes Montreal such a vibrant city. Italian, Greek, Irish, Jewish – maybe crazy Max isn't so crazy after all.

  6. Well Curzi's timing couldn't be better – this should be a big boost for Larry Smith with the West Island.

    What an idiot – the diverse ethnic population is what makes Montreal such a vibrant city. Italian, Greek, Irish, Jewish – maybe crazy Max isn't so crazy after all.

  7. An incredibly stupid policy proposal that will end up hurting the PQ more than anything.

    You gotta love the the PQ: always shooting themselves in the foot.

  8. An incredibly stupid policy proposal that will end up hurting the PQ more than anything.

    You gotta love the the PQ: always shooting themselves in the foot.

    • They'll have the last laugh when they win another election and this crazy idea becomes law.

  9. "God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural… fluids."

    General Jaques Ripper.

  10. "God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural… fluids."

    General Jaques Ripper.

  11. The US has it's deep South, we have Quebec.
    Both were beaten and both won't accept that they lost..

  12. The US has it's deep South, we have Quebec.
    Both were beaten and both won't accept that they lost..

    • Now there's a highly purposely ignorant opinion. Since it's out of context for this post, all I'll say is that Quebec was handed over to Britain as the property of France; they didn't lose or surrender anything. Go look it up.

      • isn't it amazing how few Canadians understand what "confederation" means, even though we celebrate this coming together of equal provinces to create a single new country every year on Moving Day… er, Canada Day?

      • When you hand something over because a huge group of armed folk demand you do it's called surrender.
        Even government web-sites state categorically that the City of Quebec and the City of Montreal surrendered to the British forces. Quebec after a fight, Montreal not so much.
        The province of Quebec was won by force of arms.

    • Who do you think you are to say this? Did YOU fought and conquered the French? It's easy to say supremacist comments behind a computer screen. So by your standards Quebec should stop speaking french right now because some europeans powers fought a war about 250 years ago? Please tell me that you wrote this fast and that you, as a citizen of Canada, don,t think like this…

      • Nope I wasn't around 250 years ago but a few folk wrote some stuff down and I read that.
        Nope by my standards if I'm running a business and my customers prefer to communicate with me in either one of the official languages of Canada, they should not be barred from doing so by a petty bureaucrat and punished if they do.
        Please tell me that as a citizen of Canada that you do not think that one of our two official languages should have the force of State punishment behind it.
        Supremacy, it depends on which way you are looking at the issue in this case.

    • incorrect analogy. Most of the us presidents, including right up to modern times, have been southerners. Indeed the south lost the civil war over slavery, but southerners were always enlish speaing americans and still are. There are many US comparisons to Canada's Quebec, if you are one of those Canadians who need to validate yourself by siting a fact about America. One example is the territory of Puerto Rico. Before the US force English on this territory of the US, Puerto Ricans had almost two hundred years of rich colonial culture as an Dominion of Spain and then a country of it's own. There is still a fight to keep their culture and language intact in the face of the North American Anglo Megamania. We did not beat Quebec at anything. We are merely denying them the history and culture that makes them (and us… Anglophones) Canadian. Without the French and Quebec, we would all be U.S. of Americans. Though we arn't much different than that because of Anglophones denial of there history as Canadians.

      • We may not have beaten the French in Quebec at anything, but they were beaten by the British Forces on the Plains of Abraham and Montreal did surrender to them along with New France in 1760. Vaudreuil signed the Articles of Capitulation which was followed by the treaty of Paris in 1763 after France was defeated by the British.
        The French in Europe were defeated and surrendered just after the French in New France capitulated and the defeated European power gave New France to the victors and it was now called Quebec.
        How ever you look at it they were beaten.
        I do agree that the folk from that province do add to the richness of culture in our country, but none of that changes the historical facts regarding what happened to them.

        • I am thankful that at least one poster has a grasp of Canadian history. Canada nee British North America crushed the French on several fronts. Remember defeat and surrender are French words which do not have an English equivalent (Churchill knew this well surrender was the only word in his famous speech that wasn't of Anglo-Saxon origin).The only reason Quebec doesn't resemble France's other former colonial territories is that the victorious British didn't round up the population and ship them to Louisiana.

          • I can't agree with your thinking behind declaring that surrender and defeat do not have an English equivalent.
            Apart from the fact that defeat and surrender are English words used in the English Language and so on face value counter your claim, a lot of words in English began life elsewhere. The Anglo Saxons were not the first to inhabit England, the Romans and the Celts both had long histories there and both Latin and Welsh as well as Gaelic have words for defeat and surrender. The Latin being concedo which looks familiar to the English concede.
            So far be it from me to suggest Winston was wrong but he was wrong, there was an equivalent of Latin origin.

          • I agree Latin, Welsh and Gaelic are well versed in the language of defeat. My point still stands the Anglo-Saxons, the English, have only no equivalent only the words of those who they have conquered.

          • The Celtic English surrendered to the Romans. (Italian/Empire States)
            The Roman English surrendered to the Anglo Saxons (Dutch/German)
            The Anglo Saxons were conquered by the Normans. (French)

            At one stage after another the "English" have been defeated, if you can even define what English is? If your definition of English is Anglo Saxon then they were as English as the present Monarch, who is of German descent.

          • Gaelic, Italian, Latin, and French are all the same language family and again are all well versed in the language of defeat. English is defined as a subset of the Ingvaeonic language family (which also includes Frisian, Dutch, and Low-German) and is the language of the Anglo-Saxons who first settled England some 1,500 years ago (and later conquered the world creating the greatest empire in history). The Anglo-Saxons who are Anglo-Saxons (being neither Dutch nor German) are the speakers of English and live in their country England (and its numerous former colonies).

            It isn't any wonder why Quebec wants these silly laws. France and Quebec are the last crumbling bastions of the French language; many Francophone countries (Rwanda for example) are currently abandoning that language and institutionalizing English as the official state language. Countries like Rwanda seem to understand that if you want to win internationally you don't want to align yourself with history's biggest losers.

  13. It seems the tribalist PQ Jackboots are a little tight, perhaps cutting off the flow of blood to the brain. This is about intolerance and a Government enforced supremacist nature. The PQ and their supporters need to manufacture divisions and nurture intolerance in order to try and remain relevant. Separatists need to spread intolerance and nurture the fear or they would quickly become irrelevant.

  14. It seems the tribalist PQ Jackboots are a little tight, perhaps cutting off the flow of blood to the brain. This is about intolerance and a Government enforced supremacist nature. The PQ and their supporters need to manufacture divisions and nurture intolerance in order to try and remain relevant. Separatists need to spread intolerance and nurture the fear or they would quickly become irrelevant.

  15. Well, first the PQ would have to be elected. Charest has not been doing well lately but it is still awhile before next election.

    And if they win the next election, the finances of the province should be number one (2,3,4,5,6,….) on the agenda. That concrete wall is coming and it is gaining speed.

    Last, in order to implement this, we are talking about more government employees and if there is one thing that this province does not need is a raise in its publics sector workforce.

  16. Well, first the PQ would have to be elected. Charest has not been doing well lately but it is still awhile before next election.

    And if they win the next election, the finances of the province should be number one (2,3,4,5,6,….) on the agenda. That concrete wall is coming and it is gaining speed.

    Last, in order to implement this, we are talking about more government employees and if there is one thing that this province does not need is a raise in its publics sector workforce.

    • In the recent decade, PQ membership has shrink because many of its members realise that there is no substantial desire in the population to separate. Former immigration minister Facal recently argues that while he still believe Quebec should be independent from Canada, he thinks the citizen have laid the issue for a while and that we should concentrate on the real challenges ahead: economy, healthcare, education, immigration integration. Unfortunately, Charest's government has been so disappointing that PQ remains the only alternative for many.

      We are ready for something new.

  17. This comment says a lot about many bigots who participate in these forums.

  18. This comment says a lot about many bigots who participate in these forums.

    • Really? If you owned a bakery with your brother, and you were fined for speaking to your brother in your first language in the back room of your own bakery, then you're no longer free, ie you live in a dictatorship. Tony is correct.

      It's obvious to everyone but you who the real xenophobes are.

      • you're talking about state opression not dictatorship, per se (which refers to an extraordinary condition of unconstitutional rule, generally through the assumption of emergency powers by a single leader)

    • "Many bigots" wrote a single comment? That's quite a feat.

  19. In the recent decade, PQ membership has shrink because many of its members realise that there is no substantial desire in the population to separate. Former immigration minister Facal recently argues that while he still believe Quebec should be independent from Canada, he thinks the citizen have laid the issue for a while and that we should concentrate on the real challenges ahead: economy, healthcare, education, immigration integration. Unfortunately, Charest's government has been so disappointing that PQ remains the only alternative for many.

    We are ready for something new.

  20. Quebecers may be ready for something new, but the PQ are determined to bring back the bad old days. Extending 101 to Cegep, making all small businesses be French-only, holding a referendum in the first term in office — it seems to me like the PQ is doing everything it can to convince people to vote Liberal once again.

  21. Quebecers may be ready for something new, but the PQ are determined to bring back the bad old days. Extending 101 to Cegep, making all small businesses be French-only, holding a referendum in the first term in office — it seems to me like the PQ is doing everything it can to convince people to vote Liberal once again.

  22. Why don't they just shoot all the English people?

  23. Why don't they just shoot all the English people?

    • s-c-f asked:

      "Why don't they just shoot all the English people? "

      That's not until AFTER they seperate.

  24. They'll have the last laugh when they win another election and this crazy idea becomes law.

  25. Well they shut down the Max, Max, Max commentary so I'll post this here.

    If the PQ goes ahead with their plans it will back-fire.

    True storey – my Montreal in-law, professional photographer, took stunning photos of the 1976 Olympics. He used the opening and closing shots to produce commercial Christmas cards for businesses to send to clients. Huge success – thousands ordered and printed, ready to go. The Bill 101 police stopped him because on the front of the card, bottom, left corner it said "proud moments" and on the bottom, right corner it said "fiers moments" – the French had to be first!!!! He lost hundreds of thousands as the printer still had to be paid, money refunded to clients, on and on.

  26. Really? If you owned a bakery with your brother, and you were fined for speaking to your brother in your first language in the back room of your own bakery, then you're no longer free, ie you live in a dictatorship. Tony is correct.

    It's obvious to everyone but you who the real xenophobes are.

  27. Well they shut down the Max, Max, Max commentary so I'll post this here.

    If the PQ goes ahead with their plans it will back-fire.

    True storey – my Montreal in-law, professional photographer, took stunning photos of the 1976 Olympics. He used the opening and closing shots to produce commercial Christmas cards for businesses to send to clients. Huge success – thousands ordered and printed, ready to go. The Bill 101 police stopped him because on the front of the card, bottom, left corner it said "proud moments" and on the bottom, right corner it said "fiers moments" – the French had to be first!!!! He lost hundreds of thousands as the printer still had to be paid, money refunded to clients, on and on.

    • How will it backfire? They will eventually win another election, and since they're back to a 2 party system in Quebec, they'll pass the law with their majority, just like they passed Bill 101 and all its successors. Once the law is in place, the xenophobic atmosphere in Quebec will prevent the law from ever discussed, let alone being repealed (as Max has aptly demonstrated).

      • On the main media sites that are covering the Max storey, the most popular comment is Bravo Max!! Don't count out the French in Montreal – they still very much want the right to send their kids to English schools – the same as the sepratists founders did.

        • That may be true, but at the same time, that doesn't change anything I said. People will eventually vote in the PQ, some of them not separatists, as has happened on numerous occasions in the past, in part because there is no other alternative to the Liberals (now that the ADQ is dead). In fact, it looks like this will happen in the next election. They will say to themselves that it's perfectly fine, as they have in the past, that Quebec will not separate. But at the same time, they'll end up with one more in a long line of draconian laws like Bill 101. Do you not believe that a majority in the PQ want this new law? If a majority in the PQ want the new law, Quebec will eventually get the new law.

  28. Now there's a highly purposely ignorant opinion. Since it's out of context for this post, all I'll say is that Quebec was handed over to Britain as the property of France; they didn't lose or surrender anything. Go look it up.

  29. How will it backfire? They will eventually win another election, and since they're back to a 2 party system in Quebec, they'll pass the law with their majority, just like they passed Bill 101 and all its successors. Once the law is in place, the xenophobic atmosphere in Quebec will prevent the law from ever discussed, let alone being repealed (as Max has aptly demonstrated).

  30. Not supporting or condoning the law, mostly it would be ridiculous to enforce, but the fact that it would need to be enforced shows that its premise has merit. It's a lot like the case of Galganov against the Township of Russell.

    Besides, it took almost 200 years for the British side of Canada to respect their engagement to let the Canadien live their own lives.

  31. Not supporting or condoning the law, mostly it would be ridiculous to enforce, but the fact that it would need to be enforced shows that its premise has merit. It's a lot like the case of Galganov against the Township of Russell.

    Besides, it took almost 200 years for the British side of Canada to respect their engagement to let the Canadien live their own lives.

    • I too was wondering "how will they ever enforce this law?". We in Alberta have problems enough enforcing laws that keep bars from over-crowding. Also, think of the number of staff of the government will need because they will be targetting all kinds of business, including restaurants. Then, this is not like health regulations….the minute the investigator leaves….the staff might just stop speaking French again….especially if a customer doesn't speak the language….

      Really, all it would do is make non-French speaking tourists afraid to visit Quebec because they would worry that people in business wuld not be able to speak English to them.

  32. On the main media sites that are covering the Max storey, the most popular comment is Bravo Max!! Don't count out the French in Montreal – they still very much want the right to send their kids to English schools – the same as the sepratists founders did.

  33. you're talking about state opression not dictatorship, per se (which refers to an extraordinary condition of unconstitutional rule, generally through the assumption of emergency powers by a single leader)

  34. isn't it amazing how few Canadians understand what "confederation" means, even though we celebrate this coming together of equal provinces to create a single new country every year on Moving Day… er, Canada Day?

  35. "Many bigots" wrote a single comment? That's quite a feat.

  36. The PQ want separation at any cost. This law they seek will simply inflame the situation and from their perspective hopefully it will increase divisions and tensions . They will not rest until they break up this Country. The irony of all this is they are better protected in Confederation that as a separate territory or whatever which will be swallowed up by the resource hungry U. S. The French fact will take a terrible beating and all the advances made over the last 50 years will be lost and then some. They see the world with rose colored glasses . They are a have not Province and after separation they would see a decline in living standards that would cause civil unrest . Canada is not heaven for Quebec but without Canada Quebec would be hell.

  37. The PQ want separation at any cost. This law they seek will simply inflame the situation and from their perspective hopefully it will increase divisions and tensions . They will not rest until they break up this Country. The irony of all this is they are better protected in Confederation that as a separate territory or whatever which will be swallowed up by the resource hungry U. S. The French fact will take a terrible beating and all the advances made over the last 50 years will be lost and then some. They see the world with rose colored glasses . They are a have not Province and after separation they would see a decline in living standards that would cause civil unrest . Canada is not heaven for Quebec but without Canada Quebec would be hell.

  38. I can think of two things to help the Quebec economy:
    1. Make it even harder to run a small business.
    2. Make it less likely that young people will graduate with the skills they need to compete.

    Bravo PQ, bravo.

  39. I can think of two things to help the Quebec economy:
    1. Make it even harder to run a small business.
    2. Make it less likely that young people will graduate with the skills they need to compete.

    Bravo PQ, bravo.

    • And that suits the Pequistes just fine.

  40. Who do you think you are to say this? Did YOU fought and conquered the French? It's easy to say supremacist comments behind a computer screen. So by your standards Quebec should stop speaking french right now because some europeans powers fought a war about 250 years ago? Please tell me that you wrote this fast and that you, as a citizen of Canada, don,t think like this…

  41. Merci, monsieur Patriquin, pour un autre article qui stimule encore une fois les commentaires racistes et haïneux à l'endroit du Québec. Vous apportez beaucoup de bien au Canada et aux Francophones…

  42. Merci, monsieur Patriquin, pour un autre article qui stimule encore une fois les commentaires racistes et haïneux à l'endroit du Québec. Vous apportez beaucoup de bien au Canada et aux Francophones…

    • Ce projet de loi est stupide et ne va rien accomplir en dehors de donner l'impression que le Quebec est xenophobe.

      Il n'est aucunement question de preserver la langue ici, tout ce que le PQ veut c'est gagner des votes.

    • Non Monsieur
      It hasn't encouraged any racist comments as the vast majority of comments are undoubtedly from those of a similar race to most in Quebec.

      It has however once again highlighted just how parochial the French speakers in Quebec are and how they will stop at nothing to ensure that everybody conforms to some outdated idea of nationality. Not to mention it exposes the racist hypocrisy of the French in Quebec with respect to their dealings with native bands. French N American identity = good, Native Canadian identity = not so much if it conflicts with the former.

      If only you would apply your own expectations of how you expect others to behave towards yourself to your own behaviour towards minorities in your province, but you don't.

  43. I too was wondering "how will they ever enforce this law?". We in Alberta have problems enough enforcing laws that keep bars from over-crowding. Also, think of the number of staff of the government will need because they will be targetting all kinds of business, including restaurants. Then, this is not like health regulations….the minute the investigator leaves….the staff might just stop speaking French again….especially if a customer doesn't speak the language….

    Really, all it would do is make non-French speaking tourists afraid to visit Quebec because they would worry that people in business wuld not be able to speak English to them.

  44. That may be true, but at the same time, that doesn't change anything I said. People will eventually vote in the PQ, some of them not separatists, as has happened on numerous occasions in the past, in part because there is no other alternative to the Liberals (now that the ADQ is dead). In fact, it looks like this will happen in the next election. They will say to themselves that it's perfectly fine, as they have in the past, that Quebec will not separate. But at the same time, they'll end up with one more in a long line of draconian laws like Bill 101. Do you not believe that a majority in the PQ want this new law? If a majority in the PQ want the new law, Quebec will eventually get the new law.

  45. incorrect analogy. Most of the us presidents, including right up to modern times, have been southerners. Indeed the south lost the civil war over slavery, but southerners were always enlish speaing americans and still are. There are many US comparisons to Canada's Quebec, if you are one of those Canadians who need to validate yourself by siting a fact about America. One example is the territory of Puerto Rico. Before the US force English on this territory of the US, Puerto Ricans had almost two hundred years of rich colonial culture as an Dominion of Spain and then a country of it's own. There is still a fight to keep their culture and language intact in the face of the North American Anglo Megamania. We did not beat Quebec at anything. We are merely denying them the history and culture that makes them (and us… Anglophones) Canadian. Without the French and Quebec, we would all be U.S. of Americans. Though we arn't much different than that because of Anglophones denial of there history as Canadians.

  46. When you hand something over because a huge group of armed folk demand you do it's called surrender.
    Even government web-sites state categorically that the City of Quebec and the City of Montreal surrendered to the British forces. Quebec after a fight, Montreal not so much.
    The province of Quebec was won by force of arms.

  47. Nope I wasn't around 250 years ago but a few folk wrote some stuff down and I read that.
    Nope by my standards if I'm running a business and my customers prefer to communicate with me in either one of the official languages of Canada, they should not be barred from doing so by a petty bureaucrat and punished if they do.
    Please tell me that as a citizen of Canada that you do not think that one of our two official languages should have the force of State punishment behind it.
    Supremacy, it depends on which way you are looking at the issue in this case.

  48. We may not have beaten the French in Quebec at anything, but they were beaten by the British Forces on the Plains of Abraham and Montreal did surrender to them along with New France in 1760. Vaudreuil signed the Articles of Capitulation which was followed by the treaty of Paris in 1763 after France was defeated by the British.
    The French in Europe were defeated and surrendered just after the French in New France capitulated and the defeated European power gave New France to the victors and it was now called Quebec.
    How ever you look at it they were beaten.
    I do agree that the folk from that province do add to the richness of culture in our country, but none of that changes the historical facts regarding what happened to them.

  49. Ce projet de loi est stupide et ne va rien accomplir en dehors de donner l'impression que le Quebec est xenophobe.

    Il n'est aucunement question de preserver la langue ici, tout ce que le PQ veut c'est gagner des votes.

  50. And that suits the Pequistes just fine.

  51. Is anyone really surprised that this law is being proposed? Look how late Quebec gave women the vote? Look how long it took them to force the Catholic Church to back up and let people and society progress? Remember that little backwater hick Quebec town that made a law barring you from stoning your wife even though they had NO Muslims living there a couple years back? If this law goes through English Canadians should boycott travelling to Quebec. Why would anyone want to visit a place that hates you for who you are but is glad to divert itself way more than it’s share of CANADA’S tax dollars? Quebecers never really travel out of Quebec anyway.

  52. Is anyone really surprised that this law is being proposed? Look how late Quebec gave women the vote? Look how long it took them to force the Catholic Church to back up and let people and society progress? Remember that little backwater hick Quebec town that made a law barring you from stoning your wife even though they had NO Muslims living there a couple years back? If this law goes through English Canadians should boycott travelling to Quebec. Why would anyone want to visit a place that hates you for who you are but is glad to divert itself way more than it’s share of CANADA’S tax dollars? Quebecers never really travel out of Quebec anyway.

    • I'm amused that you are implying Quebec is xenophobic by being xenophobic yourself.

  53. Non Monsieur
    It hasn't encouraged any racist comments as the vast majority of comments are undoubtedly from those of a similar race to most in Quebec.

    It has however once again highlighted just how parochial the French speakers in Quebec are and how they will stop at nothing to ensure that everybody conforms to some outdated idea of nationality. Not to mention it exposes the racist hypocrisy of the French in Quebec with respect to their dealings with native bands. French N American identity = good, Native Canadian identity = not so much if it conflicts with the former.

    If only you would apply your own expectations of how you expect others to behave towards yourself to your own behaviour towards minorities in your province, but you don't.

  54. I must smile at these eternal statements vowing to protect the french language here in Quebec. What could surprise the anglophone community is that, while Quebecers claim their language rights, only a portion of them do speak and write the french language correctly. Few
    would, in fact, carry on a full conversation correctly. Many do not even
    understand the correct term or usage of a word in its proper context.
    Quebecois is surely a "french sounding" language, but oh so tainted with anglicisms that even the grammar gets in the way. This is the reality of many in this province. Born in Montreal, my mother tongue is french and I am proud to say that I master both french & english. But I have actually been asked where I was from because of my french. ??
    I have also encountered rejection from french speaking clients who could not understand the list of items requested for export and asked to
    be supplied with a list of american terms instead. ??
    So, police the french language all you want, but do it well, or change
    the agenda to fit the québécois reality which is a language all of its own.

  55. I must smile at these eternal statements vowing to protect the french language here in Quebec. What could surprise the anglophone community is that, while Quebecers claim their language rights, only a portion of them do speak and write the french language correctly. Few
    would, in fact, carry on a full conversation correctly. Many do not even
    understand the correct term or usage of a word in its proper context.
    Quebecois is surely a "french sounding" language, but oh so tainted with anglicisms that even the grammar gets in the way. This is the reality of many in this province. Born in Montreal, my mother tongue is french and I am proud to say that I master both french & english. But I have actually been asked where I was from because of my french. ??
    I have also encountered rejection from french speaking clients who could not understand the list of items requested for export and asked to
    be supplied with a list of american terms instead. ??
    So, police the french language all you want, but do it well, or change
    the agenda to fit the québécois reality which is a language all of its own.

  56. Where are you going to find a good plate of Chinese food if the kitchen staff can only speak French?

  57. Where are you going to find a good plate of Chinese food if the kitchen staff can only speak French?

  58. I'm amused that you are implying Quebec is xenophobic by being xenophobic yourself.

  59. I am thankful that at least one poster has a grasp of Canadian history. Canada nee British North America crushed the French on several fronts. Remember defeat and surrender are French words which do not have an English equivalent (Churchill knew this well surrender was the only word in his famous speech that wasn't of Anglo-Saxon origin).The only reason Quebec doesn't resemble France's other former colonial territories is that the victorious British didn't round up the population and ship them to Louisiana.

  60. I married to a French-Canadian women and love to go back to live in Montreal again.
    I want to learn and practice speaking French. But every time I tried, I was told it wasn't
    good enough; rather than – Hey, I am glad you are trying to speak French!!!!

  61. I married to a French-Canadian women and love to go back to live in Montreal again.
    I want to learn and practice speaking French. But every time I tried, I was told it wasn't
    good enough; rather than – Hey, I am glad you are trying to speak French!!!!

  62. I can't agree with your thinking behind declaring that surrender and defeat do not have an English equivalent.
    Apart from the fact that defeat and surrender are English words used in the English Language and so on face value counter your claim, a lot of words in English began life elsewhere. The Anglo Saxons were not the first to inhabit England, the Romans and the Celts both had long histories there and both Latin and Welsh as well as Gaelic have words for defeat and surrender. The Latin being concedo which looks familiar to the English concede.
    So far be it from me to suggest Winston was wrong but he was wrong, there was an equivalent of Latin origin.

  63. It's heartening to know that the federal "Liberals" and the NDP believe in suppressing peoples rights, and over riding Pierre's sacred Charter… just as long as the rights being denied and suppressed are English speakers. Good to know.

  64. It's heartening to know that the federal "Liberals" and the NDP believe in suppressing peoples rights, and over riding Pierre's sacred Charter… just as long as the rights being denied and suppressed are English speakers. Good to know.

  65. I agree Latin, Welsh and Gaelic are well versed in the language of defeat. My point still stands the Anglo-Saxons, the English, have only no equivalent only the words of those who they have conquered.

  66. For the posters who insist any negative comments regarding the FRENCH language is somehow racist…give your head a shake.____French…is a language, NOT a race. If that were not true, then I suppose the "pure laine" Quebecers…….are the same as Haitians. both speak French.____Of course, given that many of the "Pure laine" in Quebec don't give a whit about Hatians, and would prefer they stay in Haiti….I guess the racist tag could be tossed around….but it has nothing to do with speaking french.____Here's a question. When I speak French…does that mean I am of the French race? What about when I switch back to English? And I no longer of the French race.____

    Here's a hint Eric……A person can change their language, they can't' change their colour. If you can…congrats, you're the first Canadian chamelon.

  67. For the posters who insist any negative comments regarding the FRENCH language is somehow racist…give your head a shake.____French…is a language, NOT a race. If that were not true, then I suppose the "pure laine" Quebecers…….are the same as Haitians. both speak French.____Of course, given that many of the "Pure laine" in Quebec don't give a whit about Hatians, and would prefer they stay in Haiti….I guess the racist tag could be tossed around….but it has nothing to do with speaking french.____Here's a question. When I speak French…does that mean I am of the French race? What about when I switch back to English? And I no longer of the French race.____

    Here's a hint Eric……A person can change their language, they can't' change their colour. If you can…congrats, you're the first Canadian chamelon.

  68. The Celtic English surrendered to the Romans. (Italian/Empire States)
    The Roman English surrendered to the Anglo Saxons (Dutch/German)
    The Anglo Saxons were conquered by the Normans. (French)

    At one stage after another the "English" have been defeated, if you can even define what English is? If your definition of English is Anglo Saxon then they were as English as the present Monarch, who is of German descent.

  69. Gaelic, Italian, Latin, and French are all the same language family and again are all well versed in the language of defeat. English is defined as a subset of the Ingvaeonic language family (which also includes Frisian, Dutch, and Low-German) and is the language of the Anglo-Saxons who first settled England some 1,500 years ago (and later conquered the world creating the greatest empire in history). The Anglo-Saxons who are Anglo-Saxons (being neither Dutch nor German) are the speakers of English and live in their country England (and its numerous former colonies).

    It isn't any wonder why Quebec wants these silly laws. France and Quebec are the last crumbling bastions of the French language; many Francophone countries (Rwanda for example) are currently abandoning that language and institutionalizing English as the official state language. Countries like Rwanda seem to understand that if you want to win internationally you don't want to align yourself with history's biggest losers.

  70. s-c-f asked:

    "Why don't they just shoot all the English people? "

    That's not until AFTER they seperate.

  71. The problem here is misconprehension from one side to another. There is an ongoing majority-minority debate in Quebec and the national question has never been resolved yet. That's why, for example, people on this thread treat french speaking quebecois as the only quebecois in Quebec, setting themselves outside the group… as canadians. And then they wonder why french sepaking québécois feel like they live as strangers in their own house, dominated they are by the english canadian constitution (1982), power (centralized executive 'federalism') and english canadians voting power against them (the most popular election theme, in Canada, is still puting Quebec to 'where it belongs').
    And by the way, how are french communities doing in the rest of Canada without language laws like bill 101? Yeah, don't bother.

  72. The problem here is misconprehension from one side to another. There is an ongoing majority-minority debate in Quebec and the national question has never been resolved yet. That's why, for example, people on this thread treat french speaking quebecois as the only quebecois in Quebec, setting themselves outside the group… as canadians. And then they wonder why french sepaking québécois feel like they live as strangers in their own house, dominated they are by the english canadian constitution (1982), power (centralized executive 'federalism') and english canadians voting power against them (the most popular election theme, in Canada, is still puting Quebec to 'where it belongs').
    And by the way, how are french communities doing in the rest of Canada without language laws like bill 101? Yeah, don't bother.

  73. Kick Quebec out, if they don't go voluntarily.

  74. Kick Quebec out, if they don't go voluntarily.

  75. More sugar-overdosed schoolyard behavior by a bunch of trained seals. Evolution, thy name is not Parti quebecois.

  76. More sugar-overdosed schoolyard behavior by a bunch of trained seals. Evolution, thy name is not Parti quebecois.

  77. The Parti Québécois has been a godsend to Toronto and Vancouver, but very bad for Montréal. The PQ's proposed law to force employers to speak to their employees in French will only drive more businesses from Québec. What's next? A law forcing married couples who aren't French to converse in French, or a law forcing parents to talk to their children in French? If you Quebeckers love your province, why not cultivate your province's unique culture? Try some of your province's unique wines and cheeses. Take your children to the winter Ice Festival in Québec City, or to a cabine à sucre when the snow melts. Don't try to force your language on people who don't speak it.

  78. The Parti Québécois has been a godsend to Toronto and Vancouver, but very bad for Montréal. The PQ's proposed law to force employers to speak to their employees in French will only drive more businesses from Québec. What's next? A law forcing married couples who aren't French to converse in French, or a law forcing parents to talk to their children in French? If you Quebeckers love your province, why not cultivate your province's unique culture? Try some of your province's unique wines and cheeses. Take your children to the winter Ice Festival in Québec City, or to a cabine à sucre when the snow melts. Don't try to force your language on people who don't speak it.

  79. Most of these comments are as short-sighted and self-righteous as those of Pierre Curzi.

    I guess it's no surprise, since the more ignorant you are of something, the more you think you understand it.

    Pierre Curzi doesn't know anything about how his ends might be met, the merits of his ends put aside…

    and most of you don't know anything about Quebec.

    Also, Mister Patriquin, Office is a masculin noun, despite ending with an "e". Therefore the "Québecoise" should have no "e" either.

  80. Most of these comments are as short-sighted and self-righteous as those of Pierre Curzi.

    I guess it's no surprise, since the more ignorant you are of something, the more you think you understand it.

    Pierre Curzi doesn't know anything about how his ends might be met, the merits of his ends put aside…

    and most of you don't know anything about Quebec.

    Also, Mister Patriquin, Office is a masculin noun, despite ending with an "e". Therefore the "Québecoise" should have no "e" either.

  81. Who really cares if the frogs enforce french only. That means they have to stay in quebece.

    And that is a REALLY good thing.

  82. Who really cares if the frogs enforce french only. That means they have to stay in quebece.

    And that is a REALLY good thing.

  83. Who cares what a bunch of inbred frogs do, as long as they do it in quebec ?

  84. Who cares what a bunch of inbred frogs do, as long as they do it in quebec ?

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